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Alyssa Thompson recalls ‘inspiring’ World Cup speech from Alex Morgan

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Alyssa Thompson and Alex Morgan of the United States listen to Megan Rapinoe during a game between South Africa and the USWNT at Soldier Field on September 24, 2023. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

The U.S. women’s national team of 2023 is not the one most adult fans remember from their youth. But the USWNT that changed the world of soccer in the United States and beyond are still influencing the current American squad. 

The youngest member of the 2023 World Cup team was then-18-year-old Alyssa Thompson. And she carries advice from veteran USWNT players with her today. 

The USWNT’s group stage match with Portugal features in Nextflix’s docuseries about the club, “Under Pressure: The U.S Women’s National Team.” The match ended in a 0-0 draw and the World Cup ended without a victory for the U.S. But after the draw, veteran forward Alex Morgan gave a speech to the locker room that had a particular impact on Thompson, but was cut from the docuseries.

“I remember at the end of our Portugal game, Alex gave a really inspiring speech. It was just very scary, that game, and the result was obviously not what we wanted, but we got through so we were just thinking about the next game,” Thompson said to TheWrap. “But Alex gave a really inspiring speech about how there’s going to be so [much], a lot of talk about our performance, our game, what we need to do, blah, blah, blah. But it’s about the 23 players in the room and we have to protect each other, and just be here together and not listen to the outside noise.” 

The result of the 2023 World Cup was not to the United State’s liking. The team did not advance past the round of 16, and they took a lot of public criticism for it — just as Morgan said they would. 

Morgan’s speech prepared Thompson for the heat of the World Cup and for the aftermath of the tournament. 

“I thought that was super important because there was so much people were saying, and knowing that your team has your back is the one thing that you need to win tournaments,” Thompson said. “It doesn’t matter what other people are saying. I felt after that we were so together. We were just ready to prove to other people, and to ourselves, [that] this is what we wanted, and these are the results that we need to get.”